31 July 2007

The Mighty Heart controversy

For me it started with the article by Debbie Schlussel in the FrontPage magazine. Let's not mince the words - the article is a hatchet job, and a very thorough one to boot. Debbie has definitely gone overboard, trying to judge the movie as if it were financed by the Israeli Tourism ministry and should have been focused solely on the Jewish motives. That bit of criticism really cracked me up:

And don't forget Wall Street Journal reporter Steve Levine, played by Gary Wilmes, the most stereotypically Jewish-looking actor they could cast - a living embodiment of the angst-ridden, sweaty big-nosed, glasses-wearing Jew you'd find in "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" picture book for kids.
I have even taken the trouble to look up the poor guy's picture. I am not sure that Gary Wilmes is that living embodiment mentioned above, but it is clear that he will have to consider an investment in some major plastic surgery now.

But after looking up some stuff on Debbie's site, I think I have caught the drift. It seems that Debbie is sometimes slightly overexcited (all for the good cause, no doubt), like in this case, for instance:
Then, there is this BS:

In Palestine, Jewish terrorist attacks finally persuaded the British to pull out.

WRONG again. The Brits pulled out, if anything, because they were tired of Islamic/Arab violence (there was no Jewish violence against the Brits) against British soldiers, and because eventually the land was carved up into Israel, Jordan, etc.
Ah well, as I said, it is all for the good cause, and anyway history these days is a flexible science...

But... Saying all this, there is more to Debbie's article than meets the eye. Of course, there is no place to criticize Winterbottom, Julie and Pitt for focusing on Mariane Pearl and the chief of Pakistan's counterterrorism unit. After all, it is their movie and their license.

But blaming the barbaric execution of Daniel Pearl on the misdeeds of US in Guantanamo is pure unadulterated bullshit. The list of kidnappers/murderers demands includes the one re Gitmo prisoners indeed, but read it in its entirety:
We still demand the following:
  • The immediate release of U.S. held prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  • The return of Pakistani prisoners to Pakistan.
  • The immediate end of U.S. presence in Pakistan.
  • The delivery of F-16 planes that Pakistan had paid for and never received.
We assure Americans that they shall never be safe on the Muslim Land of Pakistan.
And if our demands are not met this scene shall be repeated again and again...
It is quite clear that the absurd list was never intended as a base for negotiations and that its sole purpose was to increase the publicity for the planned act of murder. The fact that Winterbottom, Julie and Pitt made Gitmo a focal point of the movie is telling.

Another salient point in the article - disregard of the fact that Daniel Pearl is Jewish. As noticed here:
...something could have been inserted about Daniel Pearl, a man from a family with deep Israeli roots — scenes and sentiments that would make him a real person who once lived, loved, and later died a horrible death, publicly.
It is not certain that Daniel's fate was sealed by the fact of his Jewishness, but it is certain that the fact did not escape the attention of his murderers and they obviously enjoyed it. The title of the execution clip - "The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl" is sufficient testimony.

The royal pair of Hollywood is definitely way above their heads into politics. Not that it makes them outstanding, many other Hollywood stars and mega-stars have discovered the politicking as a new and glamorous pastime. But the mix of the mega-star popularity, naivety, good will and ability to dumb down any complex issue to a set of childish slogans has a definite impact on general population. Here is one example of a rave review by a groupie:
...without apology, it is simultaneously an unabashedly political vehicle that does not fall victim to sloganeering or jingoism, as well as an effective and gripping re-telling of a story that is still fresh in the minds of the audience. I know a lot of people are criticizing the movie.. but the best thing about this movie was it does not points finger on anyone.
Yep. An unabashedly political vehicle that does not "points finger on anyone", indeed...

But the best expression of the above mentioned Hollywood mix is provided by the royal pair:
The hero of this movie is a Muslim Pakistani Captain . . . . Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish--they all came together, all of them becoming great friends.
Why, indeed, can't we all get along and be friends? I really don't know. Maybe because there are too many gently smiling folks like this one:

I really recommend this clip as a mandatory viewing. Notice that the person that appears in it is an American resident and knows his rights exceedingly well. It is also worth your while to visit his site at _http://www.al-buruj.com/_ to get an in-depth understanding of the creature. And the ideology that moves him and his ilk, making it kinda difficult to make friends with him.

But don't tell Brangelina about it - it may distress them, possibly on a shooting day, and then the damage to the world will be immeasurable ...

to Bagel Blogger.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.



Anonymous said...

Not bad article, but I really miss that you didn't express your opinion, but ok you just have different approach

Anonymous said...

I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this?